Mid-year, in our home school community, our director stepped down and in doing so, asked me to take on organizing the community's nursery for the remainder of the year and into next year. The "school year" runs 24 weeks and meets only once per week. So, 12 weeks over two semesters. There are two sessions per Monday - each three hours.
Each session requires that a minimum of two people "staff" the nursery. If one is an older teen, than the second person must be an adult. The nursery ages are infant through three-years-old. There can be anywhere from 1-2 or as many as 8 kiddos in the nursery sessions at any time.
In the early spring, the out-going director raised the nursery fees for the second semester. They went from $60 per child per semester to $80 per child per semester. Several parents balked. Given the current set-up, these two nursery workers work for 36 hours per semester and if there are only 3 kids in the nursery, they each make an hourly wage of $3.33! We also offer a weekly drop-off fee of $7 per child for people who don't want to commit to sending their kid to nursery every Monday. Other communities have a drop off fee of $11 per child.
I am communicating with other communities in our program who also have nurseries and am learning how low our nursery costs are compared to them. One community pays $120 per child per semester. Don't get me wrong, as a mom who has a nursery kiddo, I love the low costs, but it's just not fair to the workers to have them making such a pittance when they could be doing other things with their time.
What's even harder is that the same parents that want low costs also want "curriculum" done for their kids like letters, numbers, shapes, and colors. It's extra work above and beyond the typical duties of baby sitting. I am fine providing the extra work for the kids, but I think the workers ought to be compensated for it.
How would you navigate this? And, do you have any great ideas for sliding scales of nursery worker wages based on number of kids?